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Thermal image of aye aye lemur

Thermal image showing substantial temperature difference in aye aye’s right middle finger (near its nose) compared to other fingers


Nocturnal aye aye lemurs are famous for their thin, spidery middle finger, which they use to detect hidden prey like beetle grubs. The finger is packed with sensitive nerve endings so it uses a lot of energy and, like any delicate device, it is best turned "off" when not in use. This thermal image shows substantial temperature differences in a Duke [University] Lemur Center aye aye’s right middle finger (near its nose), which is warming to probe a treat it has been offered, whereas the left middle finger (at lower right) is quite cool in its passive position.

More about this image
Learn more about lemurs of all types on the Duke Lemur Center website. The center is funded in part by the National Science Foundation. (Date image taken: unknown; date originally posted to NSF Multimedia Gallery: Sept. 14, 2017)

Credit: Image courtesy of Nate Dominy and Gillian Moritz, Dartmouth College; Duke University Research

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